7th July 2006
Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1HD
Don’t worry, I haven’t slipped in a sneaky weekend-break-in-the-Mediterranean photo here [after all, Im doing that all the time, obviously…] – the M&S sandwich bag is a bit of a giveaway, anyway. No, it’s more of a case of the Med coming to London – well some sand and an exotic looking bunch of plants have, anyway.
We’re actually in Finsbury Square, on the northern edge of the city (in fact it’s technically in Islington, so far north are we) and in the summer of 2006 a temporary City Beach was created for the first time: part of a growing trend in giving Londoners a taste of the seaside – without any actual sea, of course.
Funnily enough, historically this area was once more of a bog than a beach, thanks to the Romans damming the Walbrook, thus turning the fields north of the city wall into marshland. Once drained, amongst other things, the area was used for archery practice (probably why this lot ended up at the Artillery Ground next door recently), and in the 18th Century it became notorious for its Molly houses, earning the charming nickname ‘the sodomites’ walk’.